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The Shrine of Dodona in the Archaic and Classical Ages. A History Mostra a grandezza intera

 
 

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The Shrine of Dodona in the Archaic and Classical Ages. A History

Jessica Piccinini

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Note sul testo
Travelling to oracular sanctuaries was one of the main motivations for long-distance movements in antiquity. Located on the fringes of the Greek world, the oracular sanctuary of Zeus at Dodona attracted visitors from the Early Iron Age, but only from the mid-7th century BC onwards did its catchment area expand far beyond the Pindos mountain range. This book covers the history of the shrine from its emergence as a cult place up to the acquisition of a pan-Hellenic reputation, taking into account the communities and private individuals who dedicated, consulted, and performed rituals there.

Note sull'autrice
Jessica Piccinini (DPhil in Ancient History, 2012) is Research Associate at the University of Vienna. She has been awarded research scholarships and fellowships at the University of Vienna, the Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene, the Center of Hellenic Studies (Washington DC), the National Hellenic Research Foundation, the University of Cincinnati. Her research interests focus on the history and historiography of Epirus, the Adriatic Sea in Greek and Roman times, and Greek epigraphy of north-western Greece.

Contents
Abbreviations
Preface
Note

Introduction

Chapter 1. A Sanctuary on the Fringes of the Greek World
A Biased Perspective
Dodona as a Landmark and Crossroads
From Settlement to Shrine

Chapter 2. Euboeans and Dodona
Euboeans at Dodona
Euboean Settlements in Epirus ?
The Euboean Route to Dodona
A Corcyraean Perspective and the Re-Definition of the Corcyraean Peréa

Chapter 3. A Domino Effect. The Corinthians
In the Footsteps of the Euboeans
Between Facts and Artefacts: Corinthians and Dodona
Aletes, Dodona and Korinthos of Zeus

Chapter 4. The Greeks of the North-West
Apollonia of Illyria, between Delphi and Dodona
Corcyra’s Consultations and Anathema

Chapter 5. The Spartan Case
Spartans at Dodona
The Reasons for a Choice

Chapter 6. Between Boeotia and Thessaly
The Boeotians at Dodona
The Tripodephoria of the Boeotians
Pindar, Dodona and Thessaly
The Aleuadae and Dodona
Appendix – The Foundation Legends

Chapter 7. So Far and Yet so Near: Athens and Dodona
A 4th Century Ardent Devotion
The First Contacts
Appendix – Dodona and the Cult of Bendis in Attic Inscriptions
1. IG I3 136
2. IG II2 1283

References
Index locorum
Index

Note
Cover Illustration: Ram-horned Zeus Ammon from a bronze situla, probably from Dodona (Louvre Br 4235)

torrossastore Casalini site for e-commerce: http://digital.casalini.it/9788860565471

  • Codice ISBN 978-88-6056-547-1
  • Numero pagine 203
  • Formato 14x21
  • Anno 2017
  • Editore ©2017 eum edizioni università di macerata
Revue des Études Anciennes
Eum Redazione

di Marion Muller, Revue des Études Anciennes, 11 luglio 2019

J. Piccinini aborde son sujet de façon originale : au lieu de nous donner une énième histoire du sanctuaire de Dodone, en listant période par période les bâtiments qui apparaissent sur le site, et les objets mobiliers qui les accompagnent, elle en retrace le développement et le rayonnement. C’est ainsi que les sept chapitres de l’ouvrage s’articulent autour des différentes cités que ce rayonnement atteint successivement.
L’introduction évoque l’historiographie du site, en insistant sur l’importance de la publication des premières tablettes oraculaires, par E. Lhôte en 2006, pour la compréhension de cette histoire.
On commence bien entendu par les origines, avec un tableau clair et précis de la géographie de la région et de la centralité du site par rapport à cette région. L’auteur rappelle que le site est fréquenté dès l’Âge du bronze, et que la plupart des routes du secteur passe par là. Mais à cette époque, il s’agit surtout de fréquentation par les bergers de troupeaux en transhumance. Ce n’est qu’après le Xe s. av. n. è. que le caractère cultuel du lieu s’affirme vraiment, en particulier à travers un changement visible dans les trouvailles mobilières. Dans cette première période, les visiteurs sont principalement issus de la région proche.
Á partir de la fin du VIIe s., la perspective commence à s’élargir, avec l’apparition des Eubéens, liée, selon l’auteur, aux expéditions des Hyperboréens vers Délos : le chemin des offrandes de ce peuple mythique devait passer, avant de rejoindre les Cyclades, par Dodone, qui devenait ainsi une porte d’entrée vers la Grèce. L’auteur signale cependant que les témoignages positifs de cette présence des Eubéens manquent autour de Dodone. Ce sont plutôt les sources littéraires qui permettent de la supposer, avec la mention de fondations eubéennes en Grèce du nord-ouest ou à Corfou.
La période archaïque voit ensuite la fondation par Corinthe des colonies de Corcyre et de la côte illyrienne (Épidamne et Apollonia) : les objets de facture corinthienne sont parmi les plus anciens retrouvés à Dodone, en-dehors des objets d’origine épirote. Parallèlement, la scholie à Pd, Nem. VII 155a, atteste des liens qui unissent alors les deux sites, avec la légende d’Alétès, qui place Corinthe sous la protection de Dodone.
Dans le même temps, et de façon attendue, les cités de Grèce du nord-ouest, plus ou moins liées à Corinthe (Corcyre, Ambracie, Épidamne, Apollonia, ou Leucade) sont de fait dans la zone de rayonnement de Dodone, comme l’atteste un certain nombre de tablettes, issues aussi bien de particuliers que de cités. La même chose est vraie pour d’autres cités, peut-être plus modestes, comme Zakynthos, Thronion ou Paleis (sur l’île de Céphalonie). Apollonia et Corcyre se distinguent, la première par la légende d’Événios, l’autre par une série de consultations de l’oracle et par l’offrande d’un monument remarquable, constitué de deux piliers qui soutenaient l’un un chaudron de bronze, et l’autre un jeune garçon dont le fouet venait battre le chaudron en cas de vent.
Toujours dans la 2e moitié du VIe s., l’influence du sanctuaire s’étend à Sparte, dont la religiosité est bien connue. La présence de Sparte est attestée, comme celle de Corinthe, par des offrandes, parmi lesquelles une attache de chaudron représentant Zeus Ammon, dont l’oracle à Siwah était réputé jumeau de celui de Dodone, et apprécié également des Spartiates. La littérature nous fait également connaître que l’oracle a été consulté à plusieurs reprises par des Spartiates, ainsi par Lysandre, lorsqu’il complotait pour changer la constitution de son pays, ou par la cité avant la bataille de Mantinée.
Á partir du Ve s., les tablettes attestent la présence de fidèles venus de Béotie, ainsi que la tenue régulière d’une tripodéphoria rapportée par Strabon d’après Éphore, pour réparer, semble-t-il, un sacrilège commis par des Thébains. Au-delà, Dodone se trouvait liée avec la Thessalie et particulièrement avec les Aleuades, comme l’attestent des fragments de Pindare.
Enfin, au IVe s., les orateurs attiques évoquent dans leurs discours les liens qui se sont tissés entre Dodone et Athènes, liens attestés une fois encore par les trouvailles mobilières faites dans le sanctuaire, mais aussi par des documents épigraphiques, relatifs au culte de Bendis à Athènes, divinité pour laquelle l’oracle aurait favorisé l’érection d’un temple.
L’ouvrage se termine par une bibliographie riche, qui rassemble des titres variés par leurs sujets et par leurs langues, toujours en adéquation avec le propos principal du livre. Cette bibliographie est complétée (en tête de l’ouvrage) par une liste d’abréviations pour les « usuels ». Pour l’anecdote, on signalera qu’on y trouve pas IAlbania cité par exemple p. 30, note 6, et qui doit recouvrir ce qu’on appelle d’habitude le Cigime (Corpus des Inscriptions grecques d’Illyrie et d’Épire méridionale). Mais ce détail ne nuit évidemment pas à la lecture. Deux index, l’un pour les lieux et l’autre pour les noms propres, complètent l’ensemble.
Cette approche originale de la vie et du développement du sanctuaire s’appuie sur une étude précise des objets et des textes, issus tant des tablettes oraculaires que des diverses sources plus courantes, textes littéraires ou inscriptions. Chaque chapitre donne lieu à la présentation d’un élément spécifique relatif à la cité ou à la région étudiée, et qui vient conforter la datation et les relations proposées. L’ensemble est solide et s’appuie sur des argumentations rigoureuses. On regrettera cependant que l’auteur n’ait pas assez approfondi un aspect qu’elle évoque pourtant : celui des relations anciennes entre Dodone et les régions voisines à l’époque du bronze, car un certain nombre d’éléments des légendes rapportées par les historiens antiques pourrait sans doute s’expliquer à la lueur de ces relations. L’appartenance de cette région à un ensemble beaucoup plus vaste pourrait expliquer par exemple les relations avec Troie (chap. 4) ou la présence de « Phéniciens » dans les légendes de fondation du sanctuaire (chap. 6) et même l’implication du sanctuaire dans le culte de Bendis à Athènes (chap. 7). Mais c’est sans doute là un aspect qui intéresse davantage mes préoccupations personnelles.
Quoi qu’il en soit, il faut saluer la précision et l’intérêt de cet ouvrage, qui donne à réfléchir sur le rayonnement d’un sanctuaire qu’on considère trop souvent comme marginal, à cause de sa position géographique et de l’importance plus affirmée de l’oracle de Delphes. L’angle d’étude choisi permet de montrer de façon dynamique et impressive le développement des relations internationales du sanctuaire et l’élargissement progressif de son rayonnement, depuis les régions proches jusqu’à l’ensemble de la Grèce. Il complète donc fort utilement les présentations plus classiques qui ont été faites jusqu’à présent de ce site important.

http://www.revue-etudes-anciennes.fr/piccinini-j-the-shrine-of-dodona-in-the-archaic-and-classical-ages-a-history-macerata-eum-2017-203-p-bibliogr-index-ill-isbn-978-88-6056-547-1/

 
Bryn Mawr Classical Review
Eum Redazione

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2019.01.03
Reviewed by Anna Kouremenos, University of Tübingen (anna.kouremenos@gmail.com)

The shrine of Dodona was one of the foremost religious sites in the Archaic and Classical periods in Greece. Located on the fringes of the Greek world beyond the Pindos mountain range, it gradually acquired a Pan-Hellenic reputation, second only to the shrine of Delphi. This book stems from the author’s DPhil thesis at the University of Oxford with additional research conducted in subsequent years.

In the Introduction, Piccinini lays out the history of Dodona´s discovery by focusing on travel accounts from Pausanias to the nineteenth century, with Lord Byron being the most famous visitor and the site featuring in his Childe Harold´s Pilgrimage, Canto II, 53. Dodona captured the imagination of generations of historians and antiquarians, not least because its precise location was unknown until it was identified correctly by the architect Thomas Leverton Donaldson in 1819 and later by Christopher Wordsworth, the bishop of Lincoln.

In Chapter 1, the author presents the place of Epirus in the Greek world and Dodona´s central point within it. For most of its history, the region was on the periphery of the Greek world and ancient writers, most of whom were Atheno-centric or Sparto-centric, did not concern themselves much with it. However, the geographical and cultural isolation of Epirus did not hinder pilgrims from various parts of the Greek world from paying a visit to the shrine of Dodona. The earliest activity in the area dates to the Bronze Age, when a population that may have been composed of transhumant shepherds occupied an area that later became the bouleuterion, as remnants of structures and portable objects suggest. Traces of occupation in the area appear to have ceased by the Early Iron Age, however, when the rise of cultic activity, attested by the presence of bronze tripods and cauldrons, iron double axes, spearheads, and small pendants, indicates that there was both votive and perhaps communal dining activity on the site. According to the author, the presence of figurines of people and horses dating to this time period suggests that local elites made these offerings, although I am not convinced by this point as no further evidence is offered to support this view.

Chapter 2 focuses on the presence of Euboeans in Dodona. In the second half of the seventh century BC, the fame of the oracular sanctuary at Dodona rose and seems to have attracted Euboean visitors in particular, who likely frequented Dodona during their colonization ventures on both sides of the Adriatic and Ionian seas. The Euboeans were probably not simply visitors to the site but may have set up settlements along the Epirote and Illyrian coast. Ancient authors (Lycophron, Plutarch) state that Euboean men settled on the nearby island of Corcyra but later were expelled by the Corinthians. The presence of Euboean settlers in Corcyra and Epirus is absent from the archaeological record, so Piccinini puts forward the attractive hypothesis that the Euboeans in Epirus and the Ionian Islands were not stable colonizers but transient seafarers with no interests in establishing firm trade-network settlements there.

Chapter 3 focuses on the main players in the Epirote-Illyrian area during the Iron Age – the Corinthians. They were attracted to the Epirus region due to its metals – mainly silver – and iris roots (used in perfumes). Corinthian offerings to the sanctuary of Dodona were made as early as the late 8th- early 7th century BC, but it is difficult to discern whether these were from elite Corinthians, Corcyreans, or from local Epirote elites that had acquired them from Corinth through trade or gift-exchange. The close ties between Dodona and Corinth are best illustrated by a scholion to a verse in Pindar’s 7th Nemean, where a certain Aletes re-founded Corinth after consulting the oracle of Zeus at Dodona. This legend bound the two regions together and cemented the contact of Corinth with northwest Greece.

The region around the shrine is the subject of Chapter 4, “The Greeks of the North-West.” Dodona’s place as an oracular shrine was paramount for the populations living in its vicinity. Both local individuals and poleis made dedications and consulted the oracle, with Apollonia in Illyria and the island of Corcyra perhaps being the most prolific. In the case of the latter, public consultations preserved on lead tablets and an anathema dedicated by the polis are a testament to the close ties between island and sanctuary.

Chapter 5 focuses on Spartan activity at Dodona. Both material and literary evidence indicates that the Spartans frequented the shrine from the 6th century BC onwards. Some of the most prevalent offerings were large bronze craters and statuettes, although whether these were produced in Laconia or Dodona is a matter of speculation, with the author favoring the former as a place of production. Literary evidence also points to a series of consultations made by Spartans, the most prominent of which is that of Lysander and his plot to bring about a constitutional change. Further consultations by the Spartans pertained to battles, with the most well-known one being the request for the outcome of the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. A series of oracular tablets also confirm that individuals from Laconia and Messenia went to Dodona to consult the oracle about private matters.

Chapter 6 deals with the presence of Boeotians in Dodona, in particular their ritual of tripodephoria; every year, a tripod was stolen overnight from a Boeotian shrine and delivered to the sanctuary at Dodona. The Boeotians performed the tripodephoria ritual as an expiation rite from the last quarter of the fifth century BC. Recently, a Pindaric fragment mentioning the tripodephoria of the Boeotians at Dodona and the mythical wandering of the Boeotians and Thessalians sixty years after the Trojan war was discovered in an Oxyrhynchus papyrus. This fragmentary poem, which probably belongs to Pindar’s tripodephoric melos, confirms the arrival of the Boeotians from Thessaly and the close ties of the former’s relations with Dodona.

Chapter 7 highlights the relationship of Athens and Dodona. The first attested Athenian to visit the shrine was Themistocles, who as the guest of the Molossian king in 480 BC, consulted the oracle about a private matter. After the mid-5th century BC, Dodona attracted many Athenians, as the shrine’s role in several ancient dramas suggests (i.e., The Suppliants; Women of Trachis; Prometheus Bound). Athens’ relationship with Dodona probably reached its peak after 331 BC, when Zeus Dodonaeus was frequently consulted by Athenians, as both literary sources and archaeological remains within the temenos indicate.

The book would have greatly benefited from the inclusion of additional illustrations, as well as a conclusion tying the chapters together. Apart from two maps in the Introduction and Chapter 1 respectively, there are only two additional images (on pp. 91 and 110) to illustrate a plethora of texts and artefacts mentioned throughout the text. There are several typographical errors and missing or repetitive words throughout the book (e.g., on p. 87, “Their recourse to oracles for private and private matters was particularly intense.”; p. 93, “In either case, whether Lysander’s plot was invented or a real, the fact…”; p. 111, “Oxyrincus” instead of Oxyrhynchus) but these are only minor. Another point that would have made the book stronger would have been the inclusion of a chapter on comparisons between the shrine of Dodona and other shrines of Zeus in the Greek world; although Piccinini does mention Nemea, Kalapodi and other shrines in passing, the reader is left with the impression that Dodona was perhaps the pre-eminent shrine in the Greek world, which was not the case. Despite these minor problems, however, the author is to be commended for producing a publication that is both accessible and concise, well-written and well-cited in addition to being informative for both academic and general readers.

http://www.bmcreview.org/2019/01/20190103.html

 
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